Published: Mon, February 06, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

U.S. judge temporarily blocks Trump's travel ban nationwide


U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart, an appointee of President George W. Bush, approved a temporary restraining order until he considers a lawsuit brought by Washington's attorney general, Robert Ferguson, that challenges Trump's order.

"What we're seeing here is the courts standing up to the unconstitutional ban that President Trump imposed". Early Sunday, a federal appeals rejected the Department of Justice's request to immediately restore the ban, which a federal district court in Seattle had blocked on Friday.

Trump, whose personal attack on Robart went too far for some who said the president was undermining an institution created to check the power of the White House and Congress, said he was confident the government would prevail.

Ferguson said the travel ban significantly harms residents and effectively mandates discrimination.

The lawsuit says Trump campaigned on a promise to ban Muslims from coming to the USA and kept up that rhetoric while defending the travel ban.

The State Department, after initially saying that as many as 60,000 foreigners from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen had their visas canceled, reversed course on today and said they could travel to the USA if they had a valid visa.

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In the appeal the Justice Department argued it's the "sovereign prerogative" of a president to admit or exclude "aliens" in order to protect national security.

"The answer is none", Judge Robart said.

Robart's decision came after Ferguson filed a suit to invalidate key provisions of Trump's executive order which bars Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocks citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entry into the USA for 90 days. It placed a 120-day ban on refugee admittance from six of those countries, while placing an indefinite halt to acceptance of Syrian refugees.

On Saturday some refugees and visa holders from seven predominately Muslim countries that were ban from entering the United States were being let back in.

"The courts have and will continue to recognize that this executive order favors Christians and disfavors Muslims and that is antithetical to American values and flatly inconsistent with the United States Constitution".

According to a State official, the department Saturday has "reversed the provisional revocation of visas".

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